Monday Update on The Bruery (4/30)

Crap, May is almost upon us and I don’t have a location! In my timeline, I was to lease a spot by May, so the pressure is on today and tomorrow.

Location: The landlord in Huntington Beach is still taking their sweet time, I’m supposed to hear back today. I’ve heard that before. I looked at a location in Costa Mesa that I like, but it’s a bit smaller than the Huntington Beach spot (2800 sf vs. 4300 sf). The ceilings are also 14 ft, not quite high enough for 60 bbl fermenters, but I am rethinking scaling to that size right now.

Equipment: I did have some great luck last week. I met Don Barkley, brewmaster for Mendocino Brewing Co. at the Craft Brewers Conference and asked him if the platform used for the brewhouse I bought is still at the brewery. He didn’t think so, but he got back to me last week and they still have it. This helps me a bunch as the mash/lauter tun sits on this custom platform– it doesn’t have any legs, and the grain-out is on the bottom of the vessel. He also has a mill and a spent grain discharge setup for me to take as well. Thanks Don!

As for fermenters, I’ve been talking with Rob Soltys at Premier Stainless about ordering fermenters through him. I’ve heard a lot of positive reviews of the equipment he imports, and his company, located in San Marcos, could modify my brewhouse on-site. I may just start with used 15 bbl fermenters, as my budget for fermenters will be extended about 35% if I get new ones right now. Stainless steel has seen some huge price increases lately. The used fermenters I have in mind are problematic to say the least, but with a yeast brink, a brite beer tank or two, and a Gamajet cleaning system, I think I can make it work.

Other stuff: The Southern California Homebrewers Festival is this Friday and Saturday. If you’ll be going, make sure to stop by the BrewCommune tent and try some of our beers.

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